Fish subservient to the rocky environment,
slipping into cracks and flaws, and it may be difficult to observe.
and pectoral fins are equipped with a hard radius and "barbed
wire" that repels any fish trying to capture him. By observing
young ingestion attempts by Neolamprologus savoryi,
and Altolamprologus fasciatus, I noticed the inconvenience
caused by these attempts, and it is possible that they secrete
a toxic venom. Whenever I could follow such a scene, the predator
spit off again quickly the Synodontis and spitting
/ chewing like he was bothered by any corrosive, and for a few
minutes (another "catfish" of Tanganyika Lophiobagrus
cyclurus is deemed "toxic").
If the species is small, it nonetheless
needs space, you have to take into account some territoriality
and dominance of females more than males. The choice of the
territory seems to correspond to the choice of a suitable nesting
site -a mass of small particle size gravel (1-5 cm diameter).
Group interactions and sociability of
the species is expressed only if we maintain a group of at least
4/5 individuals as permanent or almost two or more numbers important,
they do not stop. But only if they are in an aquarium with roommates
they are quiet, small and slightly aggressive, otherwise they
come out at night or "coup wind" during food distributions.
If you can develop their
specific aquarium will be even better, it should be at least
150L for 6 specimens from 5/7 cm (about 3/4 years). It must
provide shaded cavities, scree stones, piles of bivalve shells
(freshwater mussels - Anodonta cygnaea -)
When the fish feels at ease, it is not
rare to see in open water (if there is some water power that's
fine), the "nose to the wind", seeming to hover on
the same site and in this position the flicking of the tail;
so it looks like a small shark fin and pectoral prepared. Sometimes
side by side, sometimes one after the other, it may well take
several minutes if nothing and no one bothers them. Then the
ride takes them round the aquarium, sometimes calm, sometimes
nervous, they get injured very rarely, females can sometimes
attack the end of the backbone of a male.
Synodontis lucipinnis is unique,
it can be cleaner, not a floor cleaner, but a fish cleaner.
Several times I was able to see who was cleaning a Chalinochromis
brichardi that a Altolamprologus calvus, or Telmatochromis
vittatus. The first time I could ask me if it was a coincidence
but the repetition has not left some doubts for a very long
Slowly approaching the fish, Synodontis
hops on and starts working, it is easy on the mucus obviously
if it goes too far, that is too much for the fish, cleaning
goes further to a gust of tail until the next approach of
No "dance" approach here, as
can the Bluestreak cleaner wrasse (cleaner wrasse) or young
Pomacanthus do just a slow approach and smoothly. This
cleaning is still superficial, and there is no question of going
clean the inside of an oral cavity (although with some very
large species in the lake this could be possible -but not extrapolate
too much from this side there.)
Any observation in this direction can
come to increase this remark, so if you have witnessed similar
events, feel free to contact me.
polli a cleaner Cyphotilapia gibberosa. (Author
Angel M. Fitor).
We now figure the secret part of the life of this Mochokidae
indeed little literature recounts that we had the chance to
watch many times and in very different conditions from each
other. This according to maintenance of the original group of
adults start with the overall maintenance
tank, 5 specimens that became mature at about 3½ years
after acquisition (they should be about 6/8 months because of
their size). My patience was severely tested in anticipation
of the first signs of pairings, couplings, but knowing nothing
or very little about the biology of these fish, until, at cleaning
the filter I found a little baby Synodontis swimming
in the open water.
So they laid eggs, and some other small
fry were discovered by chance during the months that followed.
Following a move, it was possible to observe a nesting in a
community tank. Here I leave the pen to Estelle who will describe
what we have seen twice.
Benoit and I maintain thirteen specimens
of Synodontis which we acquired as the sp. petricola
"dwarf". In the group, there was some beautiful adults,
who have already played without having observed spawning (but
3 of their fry were rescued).
Profile, we see
an appendix directed backwards.
Sexual dimorphism of this
species becomes evident after the first reproduction. Females
are plump and have a well rounded belly. It is also possible
to distinguish gender by examining the genital papillae of the
female: Broad and oval papilla, inflated during the breeding
In recent days, the adult female had
a huge abdomen, and last night we had the chance to attend the
parades and the spawning of the couple. First the male begins
to pursue the female across the tank, constantly tickling his
belly with his barbels and pushing with his head.
are currently in tank with virtually no decor, we camped out
in the the fishroom. They chose a tangled mass of floating plants
like egg holder, under the interested eye of a small Variabilichromis
and female N. hecqui who are well entertained. It really
is the sport for photographers to get one or two usable photos.
At the heart of the plants,
the couple begins to turn on itself and then stops for a moment.
Both fish wrap, forming a circle, and the female then expels
we see 3 eggs in this picture.
When they separate, the
female leaves then spins, shakes with spasms that took him to
the other side of the tank, then the male joins in. They go
for a swim together and go again into the plants. At one point,
the second male comes briefly to join the party.
Finally, most of the eggs were eaten
by the two gluttons who followed the scene closely, only a few
remained "glued" to the plants, and we hope to follow
Now we follow the development from egg
to adult form, through the larval stage. In
this picture we guess the larva still coiled around the yolk,
just before the outbreak, about 30 hours after spawning at 25°
eggs hatch in 48 hours.
The larvae are
hatched, its size does not exceed 2/3 mm, it wriggles continuously,
it is aged about 5 hours.
The sequence of photographs
was made in a specific tank, set up especially to follow closely
the reproduction and growth of larvae and fry.
Here is the site as it was laid out. We clearly see the opening
on the side of the flower pot, which sits on pozzolan chips,
non-adhesive eggs (or maybe slightly) infiltrating there during
the yolk takes about 5 days, the freestyle reaches 6, the larvae
begin to clump in dark corners.
During the night phase,
they seem much more active, and the previous photo was made
with luck. This little "comma" wriggling in front
of the front window, the focus was made "haphazardly".
We come to distinguish the sensory cells on the barbs as small
warts, it measures only 3 mm.
A week after ...
sorry for the scratches, but are invisible to the naked eye.
and the long adipose fin.
After 15 days
it has the character of a small catfish. Long back, abdomen
short, long barbels, pigmentation extends
Then quickly things
are changing. Three days after the previous one, in a series
of shots, they finally look like their parents.
on a spirulina tablet (they measure 5/6 mm)
This little world has been raised with
the adult trio, they avoided in a reflex contact with the larvae
and young, no predation by the adults were observed.
Their growth is extremely
slow and you have to arm yourself with patience to find one
day a small fish swimming lively between the stones, or settling,
if it has not been a victim of predation in the aquarium.
In light of all the observations we made,
highlighting egg size (just 1 mm in length) and the slow growth,
it is clear that this species can act as a "cuckoo"
in Lake Tanganyika, as grandiops Synodontis (incorrectly
called S. multipunctatus)
They ingest almost anything that is presented
to them, shrimp heads (or any other piece of shrimp), mash house,
For larvae, no food that moves, very fine particles, especially
for the start, then the fry begin to feast on algae, adults
with a feel for Biological cover rocks (in any aquarium case).